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Thunder clap loss on Spurs coach in his 1,000th outing

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (left) fouls San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker on Monday in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City came back from a 17-point deficit to win 78-76.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nick Collison (left) fouls San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker on Monday in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City came back from a 17-point deficit to win 78-76.

OKLAHOMA CITY – Gregg Popovich didn’t coach 1,000 games in the NBA without having a few leads slip away on him.

Courtesy of the Oklahoma City Thunder, he can add another to that list.

Kevin Durant scored 25 points, Thabo Sefolosha added 12 and the Thunder spoiled Popovich’s 1,000th game as San Antonio’s coach by overcoming an early 17-point deficit to beat the Spurs 78-76 on Monday night.

San Antonio built its big lead in the opening 10 minutes, but that did nothing to secure a successful finish as Popovich became only the 24th coach to reach 1,000 NBA games.

“Oftentimes, it’s a coach’s worst nightmare,” Popovich said. “We’ve all had the leads. We’ve all lost them because it’s a game. It’s 48 minutes long. There are a lot of possessions. It can happen and it does happen often.”

The Thunder didn’t lead until midway through the fourth quarter, but kept San Antonio to its season low in scoring and escaped when Tony Parker missed a 3-pointer from the left side in the closing seconds.

Popovich could only shrug with his palms of his hands pointed toward the sky as the clock struck zero.

“It’s called basketball,” Popovich said. “It’s a basketball game. It happens all the time.”

Parker scored 28 points to lead San Antonio, and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 12 rebounds. Matt Bonner added 10 points.

Oklahoma City won for the fourth straight time at home.

“Playing a phenomenal team like the Spurs always helps us out in the confidence area,” Durant said. “I think our defense just won the game for us. I know the Spurs can attest to that. They’ve won a lot of games defensively, and we can learn from a team like them.”

Among the 23 coaches with the most games on the sidelines, only Phil Jackson (731) and Pat Riley (716) had more wins in their first 1,000 games than Popovich, who is 676-324. Popovich became only the seventh to coach his first 1,000 games with one team.

But after a stellar start, San Antonio didn’t look much like the team with the second-best record in the Western Conference. With Houston’s win against New Orleans, the Rockets moved with in 1 1/2 games of the Spurs.

“A game that we should have had and continued to add to our record, but we let one slip away,” Duncan said. “It is over now, it is gone. We just have to worry about tomorrow and trying to clean up tomorrow.”

Rockets 95, Hornets 84: At New Orleans, Ron Artest scored all of his 18 points in the second half, and the Rockets overcame the absence of center Yao Ming to win on the road.

Bobcats 112, Raptors 86: At Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Wallace scored 25 points and the Bobcats began an important week for their playoff hopes by beating the Raptors to snap a three-game losing streak.

Trail Blazers 103, Grizzlies 92: At Memphis, Tenn., LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Brandon Roy finished with 20 points and nine assists to lead Portland.

Nuggets 121, Nets 96: At Denver, J.R. Smith and Nene scored 19 points each, Chauncey Billups had 14 points and 10 assists and the Nuggets extended their winning streak to three.

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